Louisiana College moving forward with interim president Dr. Argi - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Louisiana College moving forward with interim president Dr. Argile Smith

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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) – Effective August 1, Dr. Joe Aguillard will no longer be president of Louisiana College, a position he has held since 2005. News Channel 5’s Kathleen Witte sat down with executive vice president Dr. Argile Smith, who has been named the interim president of LC.

News Channel 5’s Kathleen Witte: You may be new to the presidency for Louisiana College beginning August 1, but you're certainly not new to the college. What is your history here at LC?


LC Interim President Dr. Argile Smith: I joined the faculty in about April or May of 2011, and then worked my way into a position where I could help the president as executive vice president just about this time last year. And then when he [Dr. Joe Aguillard] announced that he was going to be making a transition, I was asked to serve as interim president. So the key word here is 'interim.'

KW: As the incoming interim president, what do you bring to the college? How can you help with this transition?

AS: That's a good question, and I've been asking myself that question ever since I accepted the responsibility. I like to say that I don't have a vision for the college--what I have is a mandate. It's a mandate from our Board of Trustees, and a mandate from Louisiana College itself, I think.

KW: What lessons did the administration learn from recent controversy, and how can you and your at least interim administration, use those lessons, apply those lessons to move forward?

AS: I think that I learned about communication may have been confirmed there, but I've been involved in academics for a while. The initiative that I take to communicate with all of the folks who are interested in our school, is going to be a good way for us to move ahead to accomplish the task.

KW: So what is the administration, the students, the faculty, what is everyone looking for in this new president?

AS: I would love for our new president to be guided by wisdom that comes from God. And then the second quality is equally important, and that's the quality of kindness.

KW: SACS has Louisiana College's accreditation under probation. So what action is being taken to make sure that probation is lifted? I assume that's a priority.

AS: It is, a high priority. Especially in view of the fact that we want to be able to move ourselves off the probation for the sake of the arrival of the new president. Every phase of the administration, board governance, those issues that have been raised for us to take a look at: we want to make sure that they have been considered and they have been dealt with.

KW: How will this administration work with the Board of Trustees to avoid any further controversy?

AS: There's an opportunity for the board and the administration to find better ways to communicate with one another, and to make sure that we keep in mind the common mission that we have.

KW: So what would you say to potential students out there, and maybe their parents, who are wary right now of enrolling at the college?

AS: The probation areas have nothing to do in any way with the excellent work that's being done in the classroom. And I would say to parents that if they invest by placing their student here, they will not be disappointed.

KW: As Louisiana College moves forward, through you, maybe onto a new president, what stays the same?

AS: Oh, what stays the same is what happens on this hill. The academic environment has been characterized as excellent down through the years, but there's something about the spiritual aspect of this campus that makes it really unique indeed. That is going to remain the same with Louisiana College in the many, many years to come.

Dr. Smith also says the search is on for the new president, and that task falls to the Board of Trustees. Dr. Joe Aguillard will stay on the faculty at LC as president emeritus.

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